What Makes Healthy Pancakes?


“All American Pancakes” Make a Good First Step to Healthy Pancakes

Here’s Jamie Oliver’s recipe for “healthy pancakes:”

1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup 1% milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon melted butter

A good start, this recipe eliminates oil and sugar. It reduces the butter and uses low fat milk. But can we do better? Can we increase the fiber? Can we sneak in better fats? If we use sweetener, what should we use?

What Makes Pancakes Healthy?

1. Less sugar. Use sweeteners lower on the glycemic index.

Toppers for healthy pancakes? Fruit and fruit compotes make great healthy toppings. If you sweeten your compotes, use a lower glycemic sugars, like palm sugar, maple syrup, high quality agave nectar, raw honey, and stevia. Remember, topping with smaller amounts of maple syrup go a long way!

Sweeteners in pancake recipes? It’s ideal to leave sweeteners out of your recipe, but if you like a small amount, go low glycemic. (See list above). Palm sugar is lowest 35, and Stevia doesn’t have an effect on blood sugar.

2. Less fat. Fats used are quality fats.

Real eggs vs. egg substitutes? There’s nothing wrong with using eggs if your body digests them and you eat a balanced diet. You can use a fake egg, egg whites, or other vegan egg substitutes for real eggs in pancake recipes to reduce fat and cholesterol and make recipes vegan and dairy free.

Milk vs. dairy free milk? It’s healthier to use low fat milk over whole milk, but you can use soy, coconut, almond, or rice milk – any dairy free milk in pancakes. Some may increase the fat by a small amount, but these are healthy fats. Plus, you may have reduced your fat count by using egg substitutes mentioned above.

Butter vs. butter substitute? If you eat a balanced diet, 1 TBS of butter in a pancake recipe shouldn’t cause major weight gain or clog arteries. But if you want a low cholesterol, dairy free, vegan option, soy and palm fruit based non dairy margarine makes a great substitute for butter. I like Earth Balance.

3. Less refined flour. Go whole grain.

Is white bleached flour really that bad? Yes. If you prefer white flour, try using half white flour with half whole grain or buckwheat flour.

Try another grain close to wheat, but less processed. Whole spelt or whole kamut flour. (White spelt flour tastes like white bleached flour, but isn’t processed like it. It’s just sifted to remove some of the bran.)

Mix whole grain flours. Mix quinoa or amaranth flour with spelt, buckwheat, kamut, or whole wheat flour.

All of these flours are less processed than wheat flour so they retain more of their vitamins, minerals, and fiber – much healthier. Plus, they taste great.

So yes, “All American Pancakes” take a good first step. But you can certainly take them to the next level of healthy pancakes without compromising taste. 🙂

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